During a recession marketing is invariably the first corner to get cut – a false economy at the worst of times but never more so than now in this new age of online, or internet, marketing. Small businesses are looking for ways to reach customers affordably and effectively and the most progressive and forward-thinking recognise that to reach potential customers they need to market themselves online.
All businesses are different and there are no hard and fast rules that apply to all. What wll work for one company will not necessarily work for another so the process demands a full review before any realistic proposal can be offered.
There are many strategies that can increase the visibility of your products and services, by nurturing 'followers' or traffic to your website. Many of these strategies can be implemented by the business owners themselves – much of it isn't rocket science but it does require an understanding of the media and the experience to judge which horse best suits each course.
We recognise that there are many small businesses and one-man bands out there that know they need to be doing these things but just don't have the time to dedicate to it. We can offer guidance, play a bit part or take it on fully on your behalf but would not without the full confidence that our actions would be effective and ultimately lead to an increase in sales.
Improving traffic is the easy bit but without conversion or sale is of no use. That is why we offer the following effective strategies that can ensure traffic as well as conversion of visitors to actual customers.
Search engine optimisation (SEO): 90% of all online visitors are attained through search engines so we understand that search engine positioning in major engines such as Google and Yahoo! is critical to your online business. Key to both acquisition and retention is having good content that will attract visitors in the first place and then keep them coming back for more. Also equally important is having a website that is search engine friendly.
Social media: Providing one of the fastest-growing and most effective ways to reach your target market these days, social media is about building relationships by sharing content, insights and having honest and open conversations. Sharing pre-empts selling and we can open the doors to the most effective networking sites.
Article Marketing: One of the best and most simple ways to start getting more links pointing to your site and we can help you to write informative and interesting articles related to your products and/or services and help you publish them online where they'll get noticed.
Blog marketing: Posting comments, expressing opinions or making announcements is also an effective online marketing method. We set you up and running so that you can start hosting your own blog on your website and make your blogs available to the top blogging directories.
Directories submission: An effective link building activity that takes time but it works. We submit to directories that are relevant to your industry, your local and regional directories and general directories. Too many can be a bad thing though as directories that outrank your site will inevitably get found first and push your own site down the listings. A period of monitoring and strategic selection to find which work, to ditch the ones that don't, would always be advisable.
Email marketing: Although we can offer this as a service it is not a strategy we would immediately recommend or advocate. For us, this crosses the line at which marketing is force fed to people who do not necessarily want it or read it. Spam blocks are subject to personal settings so we could never guarantee that a target has been reached. Emailing is often blind and more often than not ends up straight in the bin. I know this from personal experience and put it in the same category as those annoying automated messages that ring you at 8 o'clock in the evening, every evening.
Link Building has become a critical element in achieving a good natural search engine position. The amount of quality backlinks to your website is one of the most important criteria used by search engines to rank your pages. On a basic level, the more and higher quality backlinks you have linking to your website the higher your website will rank in the search engines. However, we do not recommend dedicated Links pages but prefer to disguise inbound links naturally within main bodies of text by using the more effective strategies listed above.
Should you need guidance, wish to discuss any level of an online marketing campaign or would like me to carry out a full review of both your current and potential marketing strategies, please call or email me and I will be happy to respond accordingly.